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his evidence, however we may use it, with contempt. Political exigencies may require a ready reception of such private advices : But though the necessities of government admit the intelligence, the wisdom of it but barely encourages the intelligencer. There is no name so odious to us as that of an informer. The very alarm in our streets at the approach of one, is a fufficient proof of the general abhorrence of this character.
Since these are the consequential conditions upon which men acquire this denomination, it may be asked, what are the inducements to the treachery? I do not suppose it always proceeds from the badness of the mind; and indeed I think it impossible that it should, in one who only designed to gratify his own loquacity, or the importunity of his companion.
The Continence of Scipio Africanus.
CHE foldiers, after the taking of New Carthage,
brought before Scipio a young lady of such dirtinguished beauty, that the attracted the eyes of all wherever the went. Scipio, by inquiring concerning her country and parents, among other things learned, that she was betrothed to Allucius, prince of the Celtiberians. He immediately ordered her parents and bridegroom to be sent for. In the mean time he was informed, that the young prince was so excessively enamoured of his bride, that he could not survive the loss of her. For this reason, as soon as he appeared, and before he spoke to her parents, he took great care to talk with him. « As you and I are both young,” said he, “ we can converse together with greater free* dom. When your bride, who had fallen into the * hands of my soldiers, was brought before me, I was * informed that you loved her passionately; and, in :« truth, her perfect beauty left me no room to doubt w of it. If I were at liberty to indulge a youthful & paffion, I mean honourable and lawful wedlock, “ and were not folely engrofled by the affairs of my 6 republic, I might liave hoped to have been pardoned « my excessive love for fo charming a miftress. But « as I am situated, and have it in my power, with “ pleasure I promote your happiness. Your future
spouse has met with as modest and civil treatment “ from me, as if she had been amongst her own pa« rents, who are soon to be
I have kept “ her pure, in order to have it in my power to make you a present worthy of you and me.
The only u return I ask of you for this favour is, that
will « be
friend to the Roman people ; and that if ġou “ believe me to be a man of worth, as the states of “ Spain formerly experienced my father and uncle to " be, you may know there are many in Rome who reG 2
“ semble us; and that there are not a people in the “ universe, whom you ought less to desire to be an
enemy, or more a friend, to you or yours." The youth, covered with blushes, and full of joy, embraced Scipio's hands, praying the immortal gods to reward him, as he himself was not capable to do it in the degree he himself desired, or he deserved. Then the parents and relations of the virgin were called. They had brought a great sum of money to ransom her ; but seeing her restored without it, they began to beg Scipio to accept that sum as a present; protesting they would acknowledge it as a favour, as much as they did the restoring the virgin without injury offered to her. Scipio, unable to resist their importunate solicitations, told them, he accepted it; and ordering it to be laid at his feet, thus addressed Allucius : “ To the portion “ you are to receive from your father-in-law, I add « this, and beg you will accept it as a nuptial present." So he desired him to take up the gold, and keep it for himself. Transported with joy at the presents and honours conferred on him, he returned home, and expatiated to his countrymen on the merits of Scipio: « There is come amongst us,” said he, “a young hero « like the gods, who conquers all things, as well by « generosity and beneficence, .as by arms." For this reason, having raised troops among his own subjects, he returned a few days after to Scipio with a body of
ISGUISE thyself as thou wilt, still, Slavery, still
thou art a bitter draught; and though thousands in all ages
have been made to drink of thee, thou art no lefs bitter on that account. It is thou, Liberty ! thrice sweet and gracious goddess! whom all, in public or in private, worship; whose taste is grateful, and ever will be fo till Nature herself fhall change. No tint of words can spot thy fnowy mantle, or chymic power turn thy sceptre into iron. With thee, to smile upon him while he eats his cruft, the fwain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled. Gracious Heaven! grant me but health, thou great bestower of it! and give me but this fair goddess as my companion; and shower down thy mitres, if it seems good unto thy Divine Providence, upon those heads which are aching for them.
Pursuing these ideas, I sat down close by my table; and, leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself the miseries of confinement. I was in a right frame for it, and so I gave full scope to my imagination.
I was going to begin with the millions of my fellowcreatures, born to no inheritance but flavery ! but, finding, however affecting the picture was, that I could not bring it near me, and that the multitude of fad groups in it did but distract me, I took a single captive; and, having first shut him up in his dungeon, I then looked through the twilight of his grated door, to take his picture.
I beheld his body half wasted away with long expectation and confinement; and felt what kind of sickness of the heart it is which arises from hope deferred. Upon looking nearer, I saw him pale and feverish. . In thirty years the western breeze had not once fanned his blood-he had seen no fun, no moon, in all that time, nor lattice. His children-But here my heart began to bleed, and I was forced to go on with another part of the portrait.
He was sitting upon the ground, upon a little straw, in the farthest corner of his dungeon, which was alternately his chair and bed. A little calendar of small sticks was laid at the head, notched all over with dismal days and nights he had passed there. He had one of those little sticks in his hand; and, with a rusty nail, was etching another day of misery, to add to the heap. As I darkened the little light he had, he lifted up a hopeless eye towards the door-then caft it down
hook his head and went on with his work of affiction. I heard his chains upon his legs, as he turned his body to lay his little stick upon the bundle. He gave a deep figh.-I saw the iron enter into his soul. I burst into tears.-I could not sustain the picture of confinement which my fancy had drawn,